Letter from Prudence Ward to Dennis Ward
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- 2016-02-12 17:16:34
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- Joseph Watson (ed.)
Dear brother, Concord April 2 - (1838) [in pencil] I returned to Concord yesterday - leaving Mr Sewall much better - for several days we felt great anxiety lest inflammation might attack the brain - He had great heat in his head - The [Encephalitis?] which it seems is apt to follow operations on the head - came on, but it soon settled from the upper part of the forehead into the eyebrows - eyes - nose, etc. + though it was very uncomfortable - yet the danger was removed - He was relieved by bleeding + leaching. I saw him every day twice, for after settling it - that I should watch, to relieve Caroline - I went in. The oppression that he used to complain so much of - is gone - + throughout his sickness he has shown no tendency to spasms - This; the Drs all think is remarkable - for tho’ the cause is removed, yet the system doesn’t at once recover from an old habit. The piece of skull bone taken away is about the size of a cent. The spot which was attached to the membrane of [page break] of the brain was small + in the centre - The little particle of bone that protruded + was also attached - was very small + soon got enumbled away by handling - Dr Hayward says that a fleshy substance will grow + protect the spot there the bone has been removed. - Perhaps you have heard as I have that a piece of silver, was formerly inserted in such cases - It seems this is a mistake - Dr [Neacle?] told Caroline, that he had often heard of it, but he couldn’t find there was any foundation for the belief - tho’ it was general - If used at all it must be outside, + as the flesh wouldn’t heal with it in. - I had a letter from George saturday - He was very much interested as I knew he would be - Mother + the children are doing well at Scituate - I cannot yet tell how long it will be before Mr Sewall’s return. Dear Caroline is well, + is so happy that this dreaded operation is over, + like to prove a permanent good - Her heart almost failed her for a time when he was the sickest - He wasn’t prepared for so much after danger - There were many circumstances attending the operation, that made it very critical - + which might have proved fatal - Mr Sewall was very firm - [page break] you know by yourself - how we have all felt. I am glad you had it not long in anticipation. I am writing now in a sick chamber - my friend [?] isn’t well. + I am head nurse to day - Mrs Thoreau’s children are soon to leave her - Helen + Sophia’ to keep school in Roxbury - John and Henry to go to the West - They purpose instructing there - but have no fixed place - Love to Mary + the children from you affectionate sister P I wrote George to Day [page break] [addressed to] [stamped] CONCORD MAS. Apr 2 10 Mr Dennis Ward Spencer Mass.
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